Friday, May 29, 2009

Make Your Own Vintage Postcard Wallet

Country Living teaches us how to sew a simple wallet or card case from an old postcard. Vintage postcards with noteworthy photographic images or graphics work nicely, but it might be fun to use the back of a postcard. An old stamp, a curious cancellation, a beautifully penned address and handwritten message may be a more visually interesting choice. Click here for the supply list and instructions. Go green with sewing crafts!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ReStyle Vinyl Tablecloths

Warmer weather brings us inspiring opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Here are a few ideas to help spruce up garden furniture for entertaining, organize a picnic outing or take-off for a day at the beach. Go green and crafty - recycle an old vinyl tablecloth to create a new summer accessory for your earth-friendly style.

Martha suggests creating outdoor pillows, above, from easy to clean vinyl tablecloths. You can also apply a waterproof sealer to the seams for better weather resistance.

Design Sponge recommends making a double sided picnic blanket with the vinyl for the ground side and flannel on the reverse. Add a ribbon to tie it all up.

Crafty Daisies teaches us how to sew up a great sized beach bag with her choice of vinyl tablecloth fabric.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hold That Thought

Book markers can be made of almost anything. Of course, they work best if they are flat and don't really alter the book in any way. They can be as simple as a recycled scrap of paper or as formal as a four-color printed reproduction of a beautiful design. I recently found this vintage style, cross-stitched and embroidered book marker. It made me smile and think of my mother.

The sweet message reads "When this you see, remember me." My mother loves to read and she's a fast reader, too. But for the thousands of books she's read, I have never seen her use a conventional book marker. When the time comes to mark her page, she will use whatever she finds within reach, a corner torn from a newspaper or magazine or an unused paper napkin is her usual choice.

When I saw this book marker, I had a eureka moment and had to buy it for her. Maybe my mother needs a special book marker she can keep nearby and call her own. As for the hand stitched message, the words should not refer to remembering me, the giver. They should refer to the book marker itself. Using the pretty little book marker, thoughtfully handmade for a glorious reader, is in fact what I hope she'll remember.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Recycling Ties

Isn't this fabulous? The typeface, designed by Ed Nacional, a student at Parsons in New York, is called Tiepography. His impressive collection of ties comes from his Dad's hand-me-downs, flea markets, thrift shops and a few special purchases. Going green with great design ideas!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Brain Helper

The world's factual knowledge is now computable and accessible to you. You may not have been staying up nights worrying about comparing historical weather patterns or conjuring graphs to improve your household energy usage, but this is very cool. Different from a search engine, the computational knowledge engine draws from a huge collection of original data sources, not just other web sites. It also performs numerical calculations.

So, go ahead and try the newly launched Wolfram Alpha. Enter the names of two cities to get a comparison of the populations, the distance in miles between them and the time it takes to fly from one to the other. Enter your choice of a food, for the nutrition facts, calories, fat content and more. Did you know a poached egg only has 50 calories? Try something challenging.

The introduction by its creator, mathematician, scientist and software entrepreneur Stephen Wolfram is fun and helpful as a launching point.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Make Your Own Vintage Map Bracelet

Craft Stylish teaches us how to create a vintage map bangle bracelet. Scavenge around for a old road map from your glove compartment or another recyclable paper source. Click here for the supply list and easy instructions. It's fun and green!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Vintage Cards for Mother's Day

Julia Ward Howe, poet, social activist and author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" proposed a Mother's Day in her 1870 proclamation, in reaction to the devastation of the Civil War, encouraging women to come together to oppose war and promote peace. She also believed in the equality of women.

Anna Reeves Jarvis, teacher, local activist, worked for better sanitation for both sides of the opposition during the Civil War. After she died, her daughter Anna Jarvis continued with her mother's work and tried to create a day to honor all mothers, living and dead. In 1907, she gave out white carnations to all the mothers at St Andrew's Church in Grafton, WV. On May 10, 1908, St. Andrews offered a Sunday service honoring mothers. In 1914 Mother's Day was created in the United States.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Symbols of Summer from Coke

The Coca-Cola Company is releasing five new limited edition designs on Coke cans this summer. The minimalist graphics feature a striped beach ball, aviator sunglasses, surf boards, a charcoal grill and stars and stripes. Coming soon!